Our Staff

james-headshots-2016-web-44-of-55
Dr. James Harper
Senior Pastor
james@fpcdouglasville.org
James Harper is the senior pastor of the church. He came to the position in June of 2009 from serving in his hometown as executive pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Houston. James has served on the staff of churches in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and California. He was one of the few candidates for the church who could continue the tradition that the senior pastor have three daughters. Every installed pastor in the church’s history has had three daughters. James and his wife Magan love and enjoy their girls: Madeline, Isabella, and Natalie. James’ job at the church is to lead, teach, and keep the church focused on its vision. Outside of ministry, James loves hunting, fishing, Mexican food, and baseball. He’ll root for the Braves as long as they aren’t playing the Astros. James earned a Bachelor of Geology from Baylor University, a Master of Geology from Texas A&M, a Master of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Minsitry from Fuller Seminary.
 
 
ad-headshots-2016-web-42-of-55
Andrew Dickinson
Associate Pastor for Mission and Pastoral Care
andrew@fpcdouglasville.org
Andrew Dickinson is the Associate Pastor for Missions and Pastoral Care. He came to Douglasville, GA having graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in May 2012. In his time at seminary and in previous churches he has been a part of in England and the United States, Andrew has participated in and led a number of missionary and outreach initiatives including soup kitchens, alpha courses, lunch clubs, community questionnaires, building projects for disabled people in Pittsburg, PA and aid work in Romania. Andrew believes in the power of relational evangelism and the importance of personal testimony that speaks to how Jesus has changed and continues to change our lives and our world for the better. Andrew has an MA in social work from Goldsmiths College, Unversity of London and completed a hospital chaplaincy certification while in seminary.
 
Andrew is married to Sarah, who he met in London while she was completing a youth ministry internship at his mother’s church. Sarah is the Director for Spiritual Formation at First Presbyterian. They have two daughters: Abigail and Kaitlyn.
 
Andrew enjoys spending time getting to know people – especially if it involves food! He also enjoys going to the movies, reading a good book, playing golf (poorly!), water sports and tennis. His first few years in the United States were spent in the region of Philadelphia, so he is a willing Braves fan – except when they are playing the Phillies!
 
 
sarah-headshots-2016-web-33-of-55
Sarah Dickinson
Director of Adult Spiritual Formation
sarah@fpcdouglasville.org
Sarah Dickinson is the Director of Adult Spiritual Formation. She has been a member here at First Presbyterian since 2012, but joined our staff in September 2015. Sarah loves to study the Bible and theology, and enjoys walking alongside of the members of our congregation on the path of discipleship. Sarah previously served for six years as the Director of Youth Ministries at the First Presbyterian Church of Ambler, PA. Prior to that, she lived in London, England and worked as a youth worker in an Anglican Church there. Sarah has Bachelor of Arts degrees in Youth Ministries and Biblical and Theological Studies from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, as well as a Masters in Youth Ministry and Theological Education from Kings College, London.
Sarah is married to Andrew, the Associate Pastor here at First Presbyterian, and they have two daughters, Abby and Kaitlyn. For fun, Sarah enjoys spending time with her girls, cooking, baking, reading, going for walks, and traveling the world!
 
 
judy-web-5
Judy Derringer
Director of Children’s Ministry
judy@fpcdouglasville.org
Judy Derringer, originally from St. Louis, MO., became a member of First Presbyterian in 1980 after having relocated to Douglasville with her husband, Tom, and two children. With God’s blessing, two more daughters were added to the family, and she enjoyed many years as a stay at home mom. God provided her the opportunity of being active in the lives of her growing family and in the life of her church. Judy and Tom delight in the continued growth of family with the marriages of three children and the addition of grandchildren. Over the years she served in many of the church’s ministries, such as leading in PW, serving as youth leader, teaching toddler through adult Sunday school classes, and serving as an Elder.
God indeed works in mysterious ways. In the summer of 2002, while serving as a member of the search committee for a Director of Christian Education, she found herself being led to apply for the job. With prayerful direction from her Lord, she accepted the committee’s offer, resulting in a “home-grown” DCE. She finds working with the many loving and passionate members of First Presbyterian to be among her greatest joys.
 
 
t-l-headshots-2016-web-16-of-55
Tommy-Lee Sexton
Director of Student Ministries
tommylee@fpcdouglasville.org
Tommy-Lee is passionate about mentoring students and helping them know Jesus better. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry from Valley Forge Christian College and is currently in latter part of his studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  He has a background in music as a singer and songwriter, as well as in theater.  He and his wife, Emily, are originally from Long Island, NY, and have two children, Olivia and Teddy. 
 
 
ahheadshots-2016-web-15-of-55
Andrew Huggins
Director of Contemporary Worship and Community Evangelism
ahuggins@fpcdouglasville.org
The dawn of Andrew’s veneration for the Lord began at an early age singing in church children’s and youth choirs, choral ensembles, and lead roles in performing arts like musicals and plays in his school.  He has been actively serving in music ministry since 1996, a call he both cherishes and reveres. Throughout the years, blessings have been afforded to express the overflow of his faith in Jesus Christ through myriad channels of music, including concerts, festivals, rallies, conferences, fundraisers, special events, church worship services, Bible studies, campfires, street corners, and basement studios. Through the musical expression of worship, his delight is to know and be known by the God who desires to know and be known by all. A passion for global missions has also presented opportunities to serve in Mexico (2004, 2006) and Honduras (2011). Andrew is a full-time ministry transplant from the world of public education, where he served as a school psychologist from 2003-2016. He holds Specialist in Education (Ed.S., 2004) and Master of Science (M.S., 2003) degrees in School Psychology from Florida State University; and undergraduate degrees in Psychology (B.A.) and Philosophy (B.A.) from the University of West Georgia (2000). Andrew is married to Alison, and they have two sons, Everest and Rex. As a family, they enjoy light saber duels, wrestling matches, problem solving, arts, crafts, music, camping, biking, eating, and loving God together.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Glenna James
Director of Traditional Worship
glenna@fpcdouglasville.org
Glenna James has been in the choir loft at First Presbyterian since before she was born.  Her mother, Susan Gibbs is a long time choir member.  Her father, Wade Gibbs would often run the sound system. She has had a love of music from an early age, joining Cherub Choir at three and beginning piano lessons at four.  Since those early years, she has been an active musician and follower of Christ.

Glenna graduated in 2012 from Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee, with a BS in Music Education focusing on general music education and voice.  During college, she sang and toured with multiple choirs and performance groups connected to Bryan which, since it is a Christian college, were filled with opportunities to build relationships and further the Gospel mission.  She has found in her own life that Scripture will often call to mind a song or vice versa.  She loves hearing stories about how music has helped a fellow believer through a rough time or given them an outpouring of joy in Christ.  Music as part of her personal worship experience has always been a necessary element and a source of great joy in her faith.

Glenna is married to Mike James, also a Douglasville native, who grew up attending First Baptist of Douglasville, and is a librarian at Dog River Public Library.  She taught elementary music from 2013-2017 at a local Christian school and continues to teach piano lessons there as part of the after-school program.  She is an avid reader from biographies and history to science fiction and fairy tales, has tried almost every kind of needlework (except quilting) and enjoys them all, is trying to teach Mike how to swing dance, and has been a die-hard Braves fan since the age of four.  She also has an eclectic musical taste including worship music (traditional and CCM), classical/opera, musical theater, film scores, reggae, punk, J-pop, and rock.  She loves spending time with family, and has always felt the choir and congregation here to be part of that family. 

jenniheadshots-2016-web-51-of-55
Jenni Preston
Nursery Coordinator
Jenni Preston is a “child of the church”, having grown up here at First Presbyterian from early childhood. She holds a degree in early childhood education from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. She married Jon, a computer science professor, in 1996 and taught elementary school in Douglas County for three years before becoming a full-time mom. Jon & Jenni’s family now includes three sons, Josh, Micah, and Eric, and a daughter, Lilli.
Jenni has served as our church’s Nursery Coordinator since 2004, after having worked for our Mothers’ Morning Out program for two years. She has served on the preschool and stewardship committees and has taught adults and preschoolers on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. She loves studying God’s word and counts her women’s small group and couples’ covenant group to be among her greatest blessings.
Jenni enjoys spending time with friends and family, and loves to read. She likes to hike, run, play card games, and go camping in Georgia’s beautiful state parks.
 
 
karen-headshots-2016-web-28-of-55
Karen Standard
Business Administrator
karen@fpcdouglasville.org
Karen Standard began her service with First Presbyterian in 2000, pioneering a new position as our first Church Administrator. Previously she had worked as a Dental Assistant and then Office Manager for over nine years.
Karen and her husband, Glen, have two adult daughters, Kandice and Courtney. Karen loves her job here and enjoys the many challenges she undertakes as Church Administrator. She believes that her strong Christian faith and love for others has helped to guide her in the daily decisions which she must make as the Administrator. Karen’s favorite part of the Administrator job is her interaction with the Church members and the staff. In her spare time she enjoys reading, walking and spending time with Glen, her daughters, and dogs Cashew and Peanut.
 
 
deborah-headshots-2016-web-21-of-55
Deborah Powell
Communication Specialist
deborah@fpcdouglasville.org
Deborah joined the staff in May, 2014, from the post-secondary teaching arena where she taught business and computer classes for the last 20 years in Douglas county. She and her husband, Duncan, have been residents of Douglasville for the past 27 years. She and Duncan have two grown sons, Daniel and Drew, ages 30 and 26 respectively.  Daniel is a Captain in the US Army, is married, and has one son, Jaxon, who was born in February of 2014.  Drew received his Bachelors degree at Bethany College of Missions, in Bloomington, MN, and an advanced degree in film production, editing and media from Center of Creative Media, in Tyler, TX.  Drew is currently the Media Director for a nonprofit organization, King of Kings Community of Jerusalem, in Jerusalem, Israel.
 
 
susan1
Susan Clay
Bookkeeper
susan@fpcdouglasville.org
Susan joined the church staff in August 2015 and what a blessing that has been to her.  She has been a member of First Presbyterian Church since 1994. She and her husband, Robert, have 2 awesome daughters, Maegan and Alyssa (who have grown up in the church) and 2 grandchildren, Peyton and Emma. Susan has served as the “First Kids” Elementary Team Leader for 3 years, taught Elementary children on Sunday and Wednesday Nights, served on the Funeral Guild, and has been involved in her small group for almost 10 years. Previously, she and her husband owned and operated an electrical contracting company for 15 years; before that, she worked at a local bank in Douglas County.  Her passions are her family, friends and love of the Lord.
 
 
angieheadshots5of8
Angie Johns
Director, Seeds of Faith Preschool
Angie has more than 20 years of experience in education and ministry.  She served Seeds of Faith as a teacher for eight years before stepping into the role of Director in June 2016.  She has a degree in Early Childhood Education from Lee University and has served as Children’s Christian Education Director and Director of After-School Programming for The Mission Church/City of Refuge in Atlanta.  She and her husband, Tony, also started a mission work in Atlanta’s inner city, ministering to immigrants and refugees from around the world for four years before joining the staff of The Mission Church in 2003. Angie has been married to Tony for 20 years. They have a daughter, Whitney, who is 17, and a son, Wesley, who is 12.
 
 
Michael Morris
Seminary Intern
Michael is the Seminary Intern here at FPC.  He was raised in this church by David and Lucie Morris. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in History from Georgia College and State University in the fall of 2014. Currently, he is working on his Masters of Divinity at Reformed Theological Seminary; he will be finished in the fall of 2018. He is married to Emily Waller Morris.
 
Michael’s hobbies include reading, spending time with friends, playing games and learning card tricks. He is also a huge sports fan and enjoys watching football and futbol by cheering on Atlanta United F.C., Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Braves, the Georgia Bulldogs, and Chelsea F.C.
 
 
David Rigdon
Worship Intern
David is the Worship and Technology Intern at FPC. Born in Augusta, David grew up heavily involved at Lakemont Presbyterian, and lived in Augusta until he was 15. He moved to Cobb County and attended the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts. While at CCCEPA, David discovered his passion for art and technology. David currently works at Computer Helper as a full time network administrator; he is working toward merging both of his passions: technology and worship.
 
 
 
10Leon Jeffords
Pastor Emeritus
 
Leon Jeffords was called as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church on June 1, 1969. He served in that capacity until his retirement from the active pastorate in September, 1998. He saw the church grow from about 50 members to over 800.
Betty and Leon have been married for over 50 years and have three married daughters, four grandchildren and one great grandchild. Two of the daughters and their families live in the Douglasville area and are active in the life of First Presbyterian.
Through the years, Leon has served on numerous committees and task forces for the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta. He also served a term as the Moderator of the Presbytery and chaired the Council of Presbytery for five years. In addition, he was the Recording Clerk of the Presbytery for about 15 years.
Leon continues to serve his Lord and the Church by leading worship in various churches throughout the Presbytery and serving as a part-time Parish Associate in the Faith Presbyterian Church in Cape Coral, Florida, usually from January 1 through Easter of each year.
Leon is grateful that First Presbyterian Church of Douglasville continues to be a vital, growing, ministering and serving church.
 
 
11Sandy Fox
Associate Pastor Emerita
 
Sandy Fox was called to serve at First Presbyterian Church on July 1, 1985, as a new graduate from Columbia Theological Seminary. Since that time she has earned a Doctor of Ministry in Spirituality from Columbia . Her undergraduate degree is a BSEd in Secondary Education from Ohio University . Her first career, other than wife and mother, began in Fort Dix, NJ , where she taught school. She served at First Presbyterian for over 20 years, until her retirement in
January, 2006.
Tom and Sandy are blessed to have their two daughters and sons-in-law, Christina and John Hurkmans and Melanie and Evan Gibbs, as members of the church. Of course, the big payoff is the four grandchildren – Johnathan, Jeramiah, Madeline, and Gareth. Sandy enjoys swimming, reading, and participation in Cursillo spiritual retreat weekends.
 
Sandy has served the presbytery as a member of the Evangelism Committee, Means of Grace Committee, Committee on Preparation for Ministry, Presbytery Moderator, Parish Associates at Church of the Master and Commissioner to the General Assembly. She enjoys community involvement, having participated in the establishment of the Douglas County Shelter, serving on the Good Samaritan Council, and the Patient/Resident Rights Committee of Inner Harbour.